Svetlana Yakovlevna Berzina (Russian: Светлана Яковлевна Берзина), (7 March 1932, in Moscow – 24 April 2012, in Moscow) was an important Russian Egyptologist. A doctor nauk of history (1977), she was a member of the board of the USSR-ARE Society (1987), was awarded the Medal "In Commemoration of the 850th Anniversary of Moscow" (1997), Honoured Worker of the Russian Federation (1999), Chief Research Officer of the Department of the History of Material Culture and Ancient Art of the East at the State Museum of the East, Moscow.
She studied history in the archaeology department of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (1949-1954). From 1954, she worked as research staff at the Kerch Archaeological Museum. From 1960 to 1981 she worked in the Asian and African division of the Central Library of the scholarly foundation AN USSR (ФБОН-ИНИОН АН СССР) in Moscow. During this period she studied full-time at the graduate institute of Eastern Languages at Moscow State University under M. V. Lomonosov (in what is now the MSU The Institute of Asian and African Studies) in the Africanist department. From 1965 to 1970, she worked in this department. In 1970, she defended her thesis, entitled Предпосылки образования Древней Ганы (Background of Education in Ancient Ghana). In 1977, she started to work towards the degree of doctor nauk in history in the department of the Ancient Near East in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences and she successfully achieved it in 1979 with a work entitled Мероэ и окружающий мир. I—VIII вв (Meroe and the Surrounding World. 1st-8th Centuries AD). From 1981 she was employed by the State Museum of the East, Moscow.
Berzina was acknowledged as a specialist in the history and culture of Ancient Meroe and was inevitably involved in international conferences on Meroitic research. Her central area of interest was the role of art in contacts between ancient civilizations. For over 15 years, Berzina was custodian of the foundation Геммы, печати и буллы Востока (Gems, Seals and Bullae of the East). She worked on the attribution of items of African art which came into the museum, a significant portion of the collection which was enriched by her active work with private collectors. In the museum's African collection, she prepared a comprehensive catalogue for publication, Оружие и художественный металл Тропической Африки в собрании Государственного музея Востока (Weapons and Artistic Metalwork of Sub-Saharan Africa in the Collections of the State Museum of the East). Berzina published more than 150 scholarly works, including two monographs.
Berzina was constantly involved in the exhibitions of the Museum of the East and several exhibitions were prepared by her, including: Пирамиды вечности (Pyramids of Eternity), Древние геммы и камни Востока (Ancient Gems and Stones of the East), Образы Тропической Африки (Imagery of Tropical Africa), Христианство на Золотом роге (Christianity in the Golden Horn).